Chiswick Councillors Challenge Wheelie Bins Trial
Seeking to stop next month's new method of refuse collection
Five Chiswick councillors have issued a 'call in' to try to prevent next month's plan by Hounslow Council to start a six month trial of wheeled bins.
Hounslow Council have said the introduction of the new bins would improve recycling and help prevent vermin from attacking bin bags. Councillor Colin Ellar, cabinet member for environment, said that he wanted to reassure residents that it was a trial and the Council wanted to hear back from residents when it was complete.
But Councillor John Todd will tell the Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting next Wednesday (April 10) that the trial should not go ahead as he claims it has not been properly researched, will not improve recycling, and he disagrees with the Budget for the trial. His view is supported by local councillors Sam Hearn, Samantha Davies, Felicity Barwood and Gerald McGregor.
Residents in the Riverside ward of Chiswick have already voiced their opposition to the Council plan saying that wheelie bins are impractical for people living in terraced houses or flats and would be unsightly. The Council said in a statement on Friday (April 5) that the trial area was specifically chosen because the houses could accommodate wheeled bins and no flats or terraced houses without front gardens would be involved in this trial.
Under the Council's proposal, the trial would commence in May of a Wheeled Bin collection (of black sack rubbish only) from 7,500 properties in five areas across the borough. These are Riverside, Syon, Heston West, Hounslow West and Feltham West.
The Council estimated it would cost £125,000 for the trial, including hiring a special vehicle to lift the bins costing £3,600, publicity, and the cost of 7,500 bins of 140 litre size. Larger families could apply for a 240 litre bin. The estimated savings total £59,000 a year in landfill fees for the trial area.
The Chiswick councillors are challenging the trial on the grounds that an adequate Equalities Impact report was not produced and the new method of collection would inpact on the elderly, vulnerable and disabled. They also claim the Council did not consult with the community before announcing the trial, despite a willingness by residents to help contribute to higher recycling.
The councillors also say the trial fails to adequately address previously identified issues contributing to the poor recycling rate of LBH. The impact on the street scene from rubbish spilling out of broken black bags is capable of being eliminated without this trial, they claim. They also challenged the Council's figures for projected savings.
Cllr John Todd says his research into other London boroughs where wheelie bins were introduced has found it does not improve recycling and the bins would be a waste of money.
"The LBH recycling rate is low at 37%. Richmond's is 45%, but the correlation between the use of wheeled bins and enhancing our recycling rate is not proven. It may actually encourage residents to give up on recycling. Only 50% of London Boroughs issue wheeled bins. They are not used in Richmond."
Councillor Colin Ellar, cabinet member for environment, said: “Firstly I would like to reassure residents that this is only a trial and therefore a learning exercise, and we look forward to hearing resident’s views on wheeled bins once the trial is completed.
“Secondly, I would like to take this opportunity to correct inaccuracies or rumours regarding this trial. The pilot areas were selected specifically because the houses can accommodate wheeled bins, and will not include flats or terraced houses without front gardens.’
“In the meantime I look forward to discussing with my councillor colleagues their concerns and the benefits of wheeled bins in making Hounslow a tidier, cleaner and greener borough.”
The meeting next week can decide either to take no action, or refer the matter to Cabinet or full Council for consideration.
April 5, 2013